General Question

deadleaf's avatar

Is technology overrated?

Asked by deadleaf (212points) June 5th, 2010

Technology has been the blessing and curse since inception. The advancement of weapons to overcome civilizations, to see at night and into the night, to fly in the sky and shoot down the enemy. It’s apparent that we cannot live with certain technologies. We have lost much and gained much. Is it worth it?

If you agree – state what we can do without and how it may work.

if you disagree – state why we need it

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25 Answers

mammal's avatar

Totally over-rated, we need to see it in a negative light rather than as progressive That would be a start.

earthduzt's avatar

We don’t “need” it, there are plenty of people that live without it, even in this day and age and humans lived well before the advent of technology. It just makes life more comfortable, makes the world a smaller place and cultures more accessible to everyone. I think there is more good than bad when it comes to technology. No longer are we confined within our own proximity of the area in which we live, we can explore , expand and learn about things that 50 years ago we would not have been able to do so easily. It also increases our life span, and makes us safer all around, without it completely we’d probably still only have an average lifespan of about 40 years. So I’d rather keep our technology, but with all good things there are ways to misuse it it’s just part of the territory.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

*Couldn’t survive in southern USA without air conditioning. Won’t be able to survive in England without heat.
*Met my finance on the internet (and no, not a dating web-site), and we can chat daily for free for as long as we want (we live in different countries).
*If something takes longer to cook than 3 minutes in a microwave, then I’d be living on salads and sandwiches.
*Without a refrigerator, I’d have to own a cow and have to learn to make cheese…but would do it.

*Job was much more focused and productive without e-mail.
*Job was limited to 8–9 hours without a cell phone. Now it is 24–7.

marinelife's avatar

We could live fine without much of technology. Cell phones, laptops, even personal computers have all come up in my adulthood. Even though young people are horrified at the thought, life went on just fine without any of those things.

dealrrr's avatar

your asking if it should exist, of course it should exist, my problem is that it sux, i mean we should be able to fly and communicate effortlessly and cheap, rather we still use oil and pay high prices to call our neighbors. corporations aren’t concerned with human advancement only profit, and government is taking money from corporations so we have no recourse and no way of improving life we’re going downhill fast.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Overall, I see most technology as a good thing. Yes, we could live without a lot of what we have today, but I would rather not. I love having heating and air conditioning. I could learn to live without it, but I would be uncomfortable. Yes I can was clothes by hand, but it’s easier to use the washing machine. Yes I can go visit people locally to chat with them, but my family is a thousand or so miles away, so having a phone to call them on is a blessing to me. Having the internet to talk to my husband almost daily while he is in a war zone is a blessing to me. Yeah, I could write him letters (which I do), but it’s much nicer getting to hear his voice and not wait a month or more to get a response to the letters I send.

laureth's avatar

Depends on what you mean by “technology.” Cooking, firemaking, and weaving are also examples of technology, and those help life tremendously. I’m sure there are some examples of technology that are over-rated, but not all.

Berserker's avatar

If I think about things like 3D televisions that cost 3000 dollars AND you need glasses to watch, I’m thinking it certainly is overrated at some points if it doesn’t look any better than Friday the Thirteenth part III.
That, and I don’t believe that the ’‘advanced interactive capabilities’’ of BluRay are anything that DVD couldn’t do.
But yeah, technology is a broad term, I don’t think it’s overrated per se, but I do agree that we probably don’t need all that which is rammed down our throats.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

No. Technology is exactly has awesome as it’s hyped to be. Proof: Battery operated sex toys. Case, point.

Berserker's avatar

It will be a dark day when I rely on the Energizer Bunny and plastic cocks everytime I want to fuck myself.

LeotCol's avatar

No technology is not overated. It is helping us to evolve at a much greater pace than ever seen before.

You seem to be very focused on the use of technology in war. “The advancement of weapons to overcome civilizations”. War has been around for much longer than technology has and will always be around unfortunately as far as I can see. Getting rid of technology won’t get rid of war.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

It’s a matter of choosing technologies that are appropriate to you. I reject most of the modern gadgets and don’t miss them, never having learned to use them. The only new technology I’ll use is that which brings me an immediate benefit, rather than entertainment or a status symbol. About the only things I use that weren’t in use 30 years ago is a basic cell phone and a cheap laptop computer; the rest can go to hell as far as I’m concerned.

DominicX's avatar

Maybe it’s my “duty” as a young person to say technology is not overrated, but I do not believe it is. Not as a whole, anyway.

As people have already stated, technology allows for faster communication and wider communication. That is a huge bonus. It allows more to get done and it allows people to communicate with a wide variety of people that they might not otherwise have done. Without technology, there would be extreme isolation among different people. I believe xenophobia would be higher. “Us” vs. “them” would be much stronger because the ways of learning about “them” would be limited.

Now, I’m not saying that we things like Twitter where we update people on every mundane fact about our lives. To me, something like that is overrated. And yes, people can rely too much on technology, spend their whole life indoors, and never see the world. It’s one thing to see the world online and quite another to experience it for yourself.

I know I’ve mainly been referring to the internet and there is much more to technology than the internet. When it comes to medical advances, the pros far outweigh the cons. In fact, as you stated, the only branch of technology that I think it is overall “negative” is the development of nuclear weapons. The fact that it is possible to destroy the entire planet is unsettling. Hopefully people will simply know better and never do that. One can only hope…

13thpagoda's avatar

Who is rating it? By my standards, it is not overrated, as a whole. Of course there are certain items I see no use for. Like MySpace and FaceBook. Well, I see a little use for FaceBook. But Twitter? I mean, really?

I wouldn’t be alive without technology. I probably would have died ten times over by now. I don’t think it’s impossible to overrate it’s importance to me. YMMV, of course.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Well said DominicX. You get my vote for “Great Answer”.

HungryGuy's avatar

Imagine cutting your finger and dying from the infection before antibiotics.
Imagine needing surgery before general anesthesia.
Imagine living in Texas or Florida before air conditioning.

jerv's avatar

@HungryGuy You couldn’t pay me enough to live in Texas even with A/C :P

Like just about everything else humans make or do, technology is inherently neither good nor bad. Personally, I like the medicine that allowed me to live a disease-free life, the optical technology to allow me to see clearly, the agricultural advances that allow me to get food, and the internet so people from one part of the world can communicate with people all over the world n seconds instead of months (if at all).

However, it’s a double-edged sword. Fire can heat a house or destroy it. Medicine can cure or kill. And the internet…. well, it’s the internet; if you don’t already know how the ‘net can go wrong then I can’t help you. (We can see pictures of naked women or men; I won’t judge from all over the world, but that is one of the more benign abuses of technology.)

YARNLADY's avatar

If you all the silly game and electronic junk that people get, we really don’t need any of it. If you mean the technology that enables researchers to develop medical advances and life saving devices, it’s better than the black plague, isn’t it?

HungryGuy's avatar

@jerv – Ah, pictures of naked women…. Now, to me, that’s one of the advantages of technology :-p

Tenpinmaster's avatar

Hell ya its worth it!! I love my gadgets, revolutions in medicine and sciences to help us human do more, see farther, and increase productivity. I love my modern toilet and sanitation systems.. I love my apple macbook and mobile PDA devices.. I love my automobile and stereo systems. Whatever may have been lost due to technology, we have gained more ten-fold in return.

jerv's avatar

@Tenpinmaster Yeah, I suppose that texting while driving is a small price to pay for increased connectivity, productivity, and longer lifespan.

mattbrowne's avatar

For every 999 blessings there’s one curse.

To answer your question: technology is massively underrated. We need 100 times more scientists and engineers in the next 50 years to deal with the limited resources and the global growth of the middle class population. Otherwise Earth can’t accommodate 9 billion people in 2050.

We already got too many lawyers and investment bankers. They are important too, but the Earth does not need that many. Because lawyers and investment bankers are smart they actually create artificial work and products no one needs.

jerv's avatar

@mattbrowne You forgot to include actors and pro athletes in there. And many of them are actually pretty smart and thus would (at least) make competent engineers.

mattbrowne's avatar

@jerv – Agreed. But actors can also promote the value of science. Like in the series Big Bang Theory.

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